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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).

CROMACK, CROMAG, Kromak, Krummik, Krummek, Krummo, n. Also gromack (Cai.1 1928); grome; and deriv. gromeful (Cai.9 1941).

1. The hand with the fingers bent as if to clutch an object or to scratch (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., cromack; 1908 Jak. (1928)); “the five fingers of one hand set together at the points” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Known to Cai. 7 1941 in form cromag. Sometimes in pl. (see Phr.).Sh. 1899 Shet. News (10 June):
We juist pit a grain [of tea] i wir krummik fir ivery one.

2. “As much as can be held between the tips of fingers and thumb, a pinch” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).Sh. 1900 Shet. News (2 June):
Shü took her krummik o' saut oot o' da saut cuddie.

3. Phr.: to set a krummo (de krummek, one's cromags), to set on the kromaks, to bring together all the finger-tips (including the thumb) (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), — de krummek; Ork. 1929 Marw., — on the kromaks).Ork. 1929 Marw.:
He was sae cald 'at he could no “set a krummo.”
Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 69:
To “set one's cromags” is impossible when the hand is benumbed with cold.

4. Comb.: cromags-fu', cromag's-fu, krummek(krummo)-fu, as much as can be lifted when the points of the fingers and the thumb are brought together (Ork. 1929 Marw., krummo-; Cai. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl., cromags-fu'; 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 69, cromag's-fu; Cai.7 1941, obsol.); a handful (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), krummek-fu).

[O.N. krumma, a paw (Zoëga), Norw. krumma, the hand, in Mod.Icel. also = a handful. The Cai. forms are prob. influenced by Gael. cromag, anything bent, from cròm, crooked, bent.]

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"Cromack n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2022 <>



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